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State v. Morgan

Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma

October 17, 2019

THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA, Appellant,
v.
JOHN GLENN MORGAN, Appellee.

          AN APPEAL FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF TULSA COUNTY THE HONORABLE APRIL SEIBERT, SPECIAL JUDGE

          APPEARANCES IN DISTRICT COURT RANDALL YOUNG ASST. DISTRICT ATTORNEY TULSA COUNTY ATTORNEY FOR STATE MATTHEW HALL ATTORNEY AT LAW ATTORNEY FOR DEFENDANT

          APPEARANCES ON APPEAL RANDALL YOUNG ASST. DISTRICT ATTORNEY TULSA COUNTY ATTORNEY FOR STATE

          OPINION

          ROWLAND, JUDGE

         ¶1 The State of Oklahoma charged Appellee John Glenn Morgan by Misdemeanor Information in the District Court of Tulsa County, Case No. CM-2017-4166, with Possession of Controlled Drug (Count 1), in violation of 63 O.S.Supp.2017, § 2-402 (A)(1), Unlawful Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (Count 2), in violation of 63 O.S.2011, § 2-405, and Unsafe Lane Change (Count 3), in violation of 47 O.S.Supp.2017, § 11-309. Morgan filed a motion to suppress all evidence seized from the warrantless search of his vehicle by the arresting officers during the traffic stop. After a hearing, the Honorable April Seibert, Special Judge, sustained Morgan's motion and dismissed Counts 1 and 2. The State announced its intent to appeal and timely filed the instant appeal of the district court's order, seeking review of four issues:

(1) whether the trial court failed to properly evaluate the durational requirements of the traffic stop;
(2) whether the trial court erred in failing to conclude that Morgan's consent to a search of his trailer altered the durational requirements of the stop;
(3) whether the trial court failed to recognize that the police were justified in holding Morgan beyond the initial traffic stop; and
(4) whether the trial court failed to recognize an independent source to hold Morgan.

         ¶2 We affirm the district court's order for the reasons discussed below.

         BACKGROUND

         ¶3 On September 5, 2018, Owasso Police Officer Josua Goins was on patrol duty when he responded to a dispatch that a reckless driver of a semi-truck was northbound on Highway 169. Officer Goins located the semi-truck and observed it crossing the lane lines. Goins stopped the vehicle which was driven by John Glenn Morgan. During the course of the stop an officer from the canine unit walked a drug dog around the semi-truck. The dog alerted on the cab and a subsequent search revealed an eyeglass case in a bed rack that contained a substance that field tested positive for methamphetamine. A pipe was also found. Morgan was arrested.

         ¶4 Following a motion to suppress during which the trial judge heard evidence and watched video evidence of the entire encounter, the Court sustained the motion. Specifically, the Court held that once Goins had investigated the truck's swerving by speaking with the driver, administering field sobriety tests, and inspecting the inside of the trailer, further detention for the purpose of screening ...


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